Identify this illustration

Can anyone identify this illustration for me (artist, title, background information)?

It’s an illustration I’ve seen often so it must be fairly well known, however I’ve never seen it with an attribution or title. It depicts a “Truman Show” style world with a domed sky, and a man is peeking his head through a hole in the side of the dome, and looking at the mechanics of reality - layered of clouds and gears and such. THANKS!

There are folks who claim that it’s a circa 16th century German woodcut, but I recall reading (in, IIRC, an article in Scientific American) that it’s a 20th century print made in that style. I think it said it dated from the 1930s, but don’t hold me to that.
It’s just too pat – a guy looks through the “dome of the sky” and sees the worlds in their courses, not to mention Ezekiel’s vision of “wheels within wheels”. And the perspective is just too modern.

Don’t know the answer to your question, but the same illustration is used on the cover of hostorial Daniel Boorstin’s The Discoverers (1983). There is no cover credit on the copyright page or the table of contents. I don’t have a copy handy, but there may be a cover credit elsewhere in that book, which should be available in any large library.

hostorial? historian

The earliest known source for the woodcut is an 1888 book L’Atmosphere by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion, at the time a phenomenally popular writer. Where it could have come from before then has puzzled plenty of people and if were earlier versions, they’d surely probably have been noticed by now. The universal suspicion is that it’s a faux medieval illustration that doesn’t much predate 1888 and it’s even suspected that Flammarion himself may have faked it.
See this page (part of this site) for some more details. Or this page (in French).

(Since I can never normally remember which of Flammarion’s many books it’s from, every time I come across secondhand copies of any of them I always flick through to see if it’s there. Hasn’t happened yet, but I always do check.)

This has to be the first time I’ve ever played a game to look for a cite, but I remembered that image from Pandora’s Box and went through the puzzle to get its title and author.

It’s entitled “The Universe and Man”, but is listed with author unknown. A cursory Google search didn’t turn up much more. I hope those with more inclination to thoroughly search than I will get some use out of the title.

I work on 15th and 16th-c prints and paintings, and that sure ain’t one. The style is way, way wrong. That looks absolutely 19th c., for what it’s worth. I’d say 1870s-1880s-- that neo-Gothic, Pre-Raph sort of thing: a 19th-c idea of what late-medieval art is supposed to look like. I’m surprised anyone at all would assume it’s older than that.
Not that that helps with who the artist actually was.

I always thought it was a woodcut of Copernicus or Newton, seeing past the apparent and directly observing the mechanics of the universe.

In the seventies, I remember it as a popular blacklight poster.

It’s also used in my 1979 “The Science Fiction Encyclopedia” as an illustration for the entry “Conceptual Breakthrough”.

Amazon to the rescue!

The back flap identifies it thusly:

Googling “Flammarion 1888” led to this entry:

Of course, Bonzer pretty much nailed it first. I just added the frosting.

Damn, I referenced that book in post #3, but neglected to scroll all the way down on the back flap. Good catch pesch.

Anyone remember the gatefold of Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels LP?